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to want to get married?

(107 Posts)
Lemond1fficult Mon 22-Feb-16 11:55:47

My partner and I have been together 9 years. We live together, and are well-matched, solvent and happy. Except for one thing: We've always agreed we never want to get married. But in the last year, for reasons I don't really understand, I have completely changed my mind.

I'm not one to wait around to be proposed to, so we have discussed it. But my dp hates the idea of a formalised relationship.He wants to throw a big party for our 10th anniversary instead. (To be clear, i want a low-key registry office job and a marriage, not the whole bridal bit). Obvs I wish he would change his mind, but I have no interest in bullying him into something he doesn't want.

So here's the thing: I'm worried it's turning me into a complete nutjob. I had to go to my room at a recent wedding because I got so upset. And because it's making me so crazy, I'm actually considering ending a relationship that is the envy of our friends.

AIBU?

EatenEasterChocsAlready Mon 22-Feb-16 11:57:39

hard to say really?
why cant you accept he doesn't want too, and why cant he for the love of you - accept you do and marry you?

i found getting married incredibly romantic, the perfect cherry on our relationship....

whats the big deal?

Barmaid101 Mon 22-Feb-16 12:00:52

If you just want the registry office and that is it could you approach it as added security for you both, if something was to happen to you, you would want your oh to be able to make decisions etc.

PoundingTheStreets Mon 22-Feb-16 12:04:12

Do you have children and how are you both placed financially? My advice will be different depending on the answers to those questions.

If it is truly the case he does not want to get married because he has what he sees as ethical objections to marriage, you have to find a way to live with that if you wish to carry on in the relationship. It may help to explore your own feelings about commitment and why you see marriage as a manifestation of that.

OTOH, if you stand to lose more than he does in the event of a separation/death, I'd be questioning his reasons and re-examining the relationship.

I don't particularly want to get married because I have DC from a previous relationship who I need to protect more. I have taken steps to protect my partner in the event of my death, but I can protect my DC more by remaining unmarried.

Katenka Mon 22-Feb-16 12:05:37

Yanbu to want to get married.

But he inbu wanting to stick to what you agreed.

Why did you feel marriage wasn't right for you when you agreed this?

Lemond1fficult Mon 22-Feb-16 12:05:48

My thoughts exactly.. I'm really not the bridal type. But he just doesn't want to do it. It's the kind of thing we can't compromise on, as our wants are so diametrically opposed. And I totally understand how he feels - I just don't know why I suddenly am obsessed.

Lemond1fficult Mon 22-Feb-16 12:08:36

No dc and no plans for any (I'm still pretty clear on that). We have our own money, so I'm not looking at it from a financial point of view. He owns our house, but I don't care about that, as I wouldn't want it in the event of a split.

wasonthelist Mon 22-Feb-16 12:09:19

Isn't this the plot of a film? (sorry if that sounded a bit flippant)

Who can say? When I got married we agreed we wanted kids - but ex changed her mind - it happens. Marriage does give parties significant financial commitments to each other that don't exist for cohabitation.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 22-Feb-16 12:13:26

So if you split up, you'd be homeless?

Or have you made other arrangements given that you have no security or rights in regard to your home?

Does he own it outright?

Or do you contribute to his mortgage?

PoundingTheStreets Mon 22-Feb-16 12:13:51

If financially it makes no difference, I think it's probably the case that you've internalised the message that marriage = commitment, and your emotional brain isn't listening to your rational brain, you feel worried that maybe he doesn't love you enough to marry you. There's no shame in feeling that. We live in a society that shoves that message down our throats at every available opportunity and we have a media culture (someone else referenced films above grin) that plays this out over and over again. None of us live in a cultural vacuum and we're influenced by it to a greater or lesser degree. I think you need to acknowledge your disappointment, as you are, and then work through it; preferably with him as he seems to have worked out his own peace with it. flowers

Lemond1fficult Mon 22-Feb-16 12:22:11

Pounding, I think you may have hit the nail on the head... I have no idea why I'm feeling like this. All my logic rebels against it, but it doesn't change the fact I'm getting far too emotional about something I didn't even want 12 months ago.

Bathtime - it's his house outright so I would have to move out, yes. So i only contribute to bills. But I do have savings so I wouldn't be destitute.

BlueEnvelope Mon 22-Feb-16 12:32:10

What has changed your mind, Lemon? Where is the obsession coming from?

We had always agreed we didn't want to get married, but after almost 20 years, my partner changed his mind and begged for a marriage I really, really wasn't interested in. It meant so much to him that I eventually agreed, but on the proviso it was just us in jeans in a registry office with two witnesses. I frequently forget we even did it, but it makes him happy, and it hasn't changed anything at all in our relationship, other than regularising certain legal eventualities, most of them irrelevant unless one of us dies.

Not marrying him was no indication that I didn't love him. We have a lot of longterm happily-coupled friends, and the married ones are the exception, rather than the rule - most of them are international couples who did it for visa/residency/children's nationalities reasons.

The slightly ominous note in your post for me was the mention of the house being his alone and that you would have to move out if you split up. If you are in a fully-committed lifelong relationship, why aren't you joint owners of a property? Is this behind his refusal to consider marriage? Why is he so adamant?

Lemond1fficult Mon 22-Feb-16 12:48:46

Blue, I'm glad for your perspective.
Yours is definitely the kind of life we've been planning until recently.

I guess my mind has been changed by the absolute avalanche of weddings we've been going to - it does make you wonder if you've missed a trick. We don't own a house together because we live in London, so if it hadn't been for my dp's inheritance, which bought the house outright, we wouldn't be able to buy a shed. (We do have wills leaving everything to each other of the unthinkable happened).

anniroc Mon 22-Feb-16 12:56:01

Are there any plans to put your name on the deeds of the house?

Katenka Mon 22-Feb-16 13:01:00

Personally since you don't pay towards the mortgage and have no interest in the house and aren't planning children I can see why you are fine with the set up regarding the house.

This isn't something you can compromise over so someone is going to have accept the others PoV. The problem is there is no right or wrong.

Does him losing half the house in the event of divorce worry him?

It would worry me. If I owned a house outright and had no kids with my partner. I would be concerned about the implications of we split after getting married.

Katenka Mon 22-Feb-16 13:01:24

Not pay towards the mortgage, but pay to live there like rent.

GnomeDePlume Mon 22-Feb-16 13:02:32

What is it about the formalisation that your DP doesnt want?

suzannecaravaggio Mon 22-Feb-16 13:03:48

His assets are worth more that yours
A marriage will leave him worse off and you better off
Its in his interests to not get married
Whereas your interests are best served by getting married

That, surely is the bottom line here?

BlueEnvelope Mon 22-Feb-16 13:14:02

I don't think you have 'missed a trick', honestly. Our life is in no way different because we're married. I have no idea when our wedding anniversary is (come to think of it, it may be within the next few weeks... grin)

The only thing is, do you plan to have a child together at any point? That would be my only pro-marriage stipulation, because women tend to miss out on earnings, career progression etc after children, and seem in many apparently egalitarian relationships to end up bearing the brunt of childcare and lost earnings, so that I think the legal protections of marriage (or a legal document drawn up by a solicitor to replicate as far as possible those legal protections - I know it's not possible to do all) are an important safeguard in case of relationship breakdown.

suzannecaravaggio Mon 22-Feb-16 13:16:07

Mind you
If you threatened to end the relationship unless you get married that would change his balance sheet
He would have to decide if the financial value of the assets he will lose means more to him than his relationship with you

PennyHasNoSurname Mon 22-Feb-16 13:21:42

Does he realise that were anything serious to happen to you, he couldnt just call up the hospital and be told that info?

That he couldnt make end of life decisions for you?

Katenka Mon 22-Feb-16 13:24:56

If you threatened to end the relationship unless you get married that would change his balance sheet
He would have to decide if the financial value of the assets he will lose means more to him than his relationship with you

If someone tries to threaten me into getting married the relationship would be over

AnotherEmma Mon 22-Feb-16 13:26:06

Given that he owns a property in London, his estate after death will be above the inheritance tax threshold. If you were married there would be no tax payable. But being unmarried you would have to pay inheritance tax. So from a purely practical and financial POV, that's a clear advantage to being married. If you look up the legal and financial differences between marriage/civil partnership and cohabiting, you will find other advantages too.

Clearly it's not just about the money and you're not "after his money" so you could get a pre-nup to say that you wouldn't be entitled to his assets in the event of divorce.

My suggestion would for you to think carefully about all the reasons you want to get married - write them down if that helps. And ask him to tell you his reasons for not wanting to get married. Then talk about it. Lots. With the help of a couple's counsellor if necessary. Hopefully you will get to the point where you reach an agreement either way and can accept the outcome.

CooPie10 Mon 22-Feb-16 13:26:47

But for the last 8 years you were in agreement with him, you got into this relationship on the same page and now you want that to change. He doesn't have to be hiding anything to not want to go along with this. I don't think even if he can't give you a valid reason for not wanting to get married, that he would be unreasonable. It's you who has changed your mind.

AnotherEmma Mon 22-Feb-16 13:27:50

CooPie So what? People have the right to change their minds.

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